This week, Busch Gardens Tampa is celebrating a milestone anniversary for a very special relationship. Monday, April 16 marked the one-year anniversary of the first time park guests got to see an 8-week-old male cheetah cub and a 16-week-old female yellow Labrador puppy start to strike up a friendship that the park’s animal experts expect to last a lifetime.
The pair – later named Kasi and Mtani by park fans via a Facebook poll – spent only supervised play times together at first. Now, a year later, they live together full time at the park’s CheetahRun habitat and even travel together to schools, events and television studios, helping the park’s education team teach the public about the plight of cheetahs in the wild and the importance of Busch Gardens’ conservation efforts.
Park guest can see Kasi and Mtani daily at Cheetah Run, where they spend a portion of each day playing together on the habitat, training with their keepers and exercising with the habitat’s luresystem, designed to encourage the animals to do what cheetahs (and Mtani, too!) do best: run and chase.